Posts Tagged ‘Park National Corporation’

The Quality Of Enabling Is Not Strained

August 17, 2018

In a recent NY Times Op Ed (The Debt-Shaming of Stacey Abrams: Our pernicious double standard on politicians who owe money. 8-17-18) Michelle Goldberg elaborates the blatant class bias found within our democracy regarding debt. This is of interest after considering Abrams’ run for Georgia Governor in the 7-29-18 posting entitled Unspoken.  Analysis isn’t considering the national debt soaring to over a trillion here. More something along the lines of the previous posting (How Sausage Is made). Goldberg writes: “But Republicans think they can damage Abrams by going after her on the issue of her personal debt, which totals more than $200,000.” She goes on to mention other candidates receiving like treatment during this midterm year, NY’s Jumaane Williams (“for owing money on a failed restaurant venture and for losing a house to foreclosure”) and Wisconsin’s Randy Brice (“faced criticism for his debt, including $1,257 in late child support that he paid off last year, as well as a 1999 bankruptcy”). The reasons for the debt are various: Abrams for her education and caring for family crisis while Brice struggled with cancer without insurance, a personal crisis. Goldberg goes on to point out that our president had 6 bankruptcies on record when he ran, his son-in-law “paid a record-setting $1.8 billion for a tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007, near the height of New York City’s real estate market. His family’s company struggled to deal with the resulting debt before being bailed out this month by Brookfield, a real estate company whose investors include the Qatar Investment Authority. Any ordinary person who repeatedly squandered family money on bad bets the way Kushner has would most likely be seen as a deadbeat and a loser.” and Abrams’ GOP opponent, Brian Kemp, “a multimillionaire who is being sued for allegedly failing to repay a $500,000 loan used to buy supplies for an agricultural company he invested in.” In a nutshell, “This line of attack throws a pernicious political dynamic into high relief. The financial problems of poor and middle-class people are treated as moral failings, while rich people’s debt is either ignored or spun as a sign of intrepid entrepreneurialism.” But Goldberg’s assessment is pretty topical – class and race. “If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface; of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” (Andy Warhol) This seems to satisfy most people. Digging a little deeper we have the unspoken, but recurrent, theme of solving Ohio’s (and the nation’s) substance abuse and addiction problem – to solve a problem requires actually recognizing and admitting there is one! Analysis can’t disregard the 1%, 99% dichotomy that is America. Not included in the economic statistic of 1%, but considered as such by the SCOTUS (Citizen United ascribes personhood), would be corporate accountability, which deals with enormous sums of electronically available wealth. Recent revelations, disclosed with the Paul Manafort trial, reveal corporate eagerness to make jumbo loans (and indebtedness) to those who travel in the upper echelons of the 1%. Locally we find the 7-24-18 Newark Advocate headlining Park National announces increased income for quarter, year. The corporate person’s accountability of assets and debits is impeccable. Can as much be said for the human persons charged with running the corporate entity? ““We continue to focus on long-term plans to fuel and sustain loan growth and strong overall performance,” Park CEO David Trautman said.”” “Park National Corporation had $7.5 billion in total assets, as of June 30.” Goldberg’s double standard is rooted in a single fundamental economic standard – a bank’s assets primarily consist of the loans it has extended, the money it is owed, the interest and fees it collects. Even the POTUS mouths support for suing the enablers of addiction. What about the enablers of debt? To quote Abrams: “it’s hard for people to believe that change happens.”


Success And Succession

July 23, 2013

            The day saw the birth of royalty within the British monarchy. Fascination describes the “interest” of the American public in the birth of a child to a young couple in London. After all, American culture and self-governance is ostensibly founded on the very overthrow of monarchy by democracy. Our “fascination” extends more along the lines of our acquaintance with Shakespeare than any actual analytic interpretation of royal lineage with the same equanimity as that of our own constitutional electoral college and its transition of presidency. How else to grasp that after Elizabeth as queen, Charles, then William, then this new unnamed prince are all “in line” to head the British monarchy?


Today (7-22-13) Kent Mallet of The Newark Advocate reported the announcement by Park National Bank and Park National Bank Corporation of the change in CEO coming January 2014. David Trautman, current president of bank and corp., will succeed Dan DeLawder as CEO. “Park announced the succession plan along with today’s second quarter report. Park long has used a strategy of flip-flopping its No. 1 and No. 2 employees to ensure a smooth leadership transition.” Mallet goes on to write, “DeLawder plans to continue working on a full-time basis, following the pattern established by former Park CEOs John W. Alford and William T. McConnell. “This carefully planned transition follows the leadership model that has successfully served our organization for decades,” DeLawder said. Like DeLawder, Trautman was hired by and worked directly with past leaders Everett Reese, Alford and McConnell.”


Perhaps, though a democracy, Americans are more in tune with hierarchical transitions, no matter how eccentric and arcane the protocol and strategy. This would go a long way in explaining the “fascination” for the British royal event. It would also explain why so many bemoan the low turn-out in local elections, low interest level in local affairs of self-governance and (sometimes) non-existent participation in the very offices of self-governance (evidenced by election ballots with candidates running unopposed). Democracy requires an informed, inquisitive and “local” (neighborhood) participation. Democracy, as self-governance, is not predetermined, ordained or scientific. It is not a model of efficiency. There is no “one size fits all” approach or solution since all aspects are determined through a democratic interaction. Today’s emphasis on success and succession makes democracy rather, well, inconvenient. It appears to suggest that democracy would be best served if it had a drive thru window. Either that, or operate more like a business or monarchy!

Ownership Of Downtown Newark

March 23, 2013

Downtown Newark property is news. The Jerry McClain Company resurfaced recently with the sale of the North Third Street Tower to Park National Bank (Newark Advocate 3-18-13). He had previously obtained the majority of the property north of Locust Street. Having leveled all the previous development that existed there, it is now vacant in anticipation of future potential investment. The Tower sale points in that direction. The new Heartland Bank building (of which Mr. McClain is on the board of directors) is an indicator of the new. Newark Development Partners Community Improvement Corporation hired Fred Ernest to be its director. From the 3-22-13 Newark Advocate: “Ernest will be tasked initially with leading redevelopment planning and improvements for downtown Newark” The Advocate goes on to quote Dan DeLawder , chairman of the Community Improvement Corporation as well as chairman of Park National Corporation (a 5.5 billion dollar corporation according to Wiki): “This is an exciting time for the City of Newark. This hire shows our commitment to helping our existing businesses expand and thrive as well as the priority of having a long-term plan in place to further improve the business, industrial and residential living areas of our vibrant and attractive city.” As pointed out in this blog’s Vital Statistics posting, almost half of Newark’s residences are non-owner occupant. On April 8 a group of citizens will petition the City Council to enact rental registration along with inspection/certification based on safe and life sustaining standards.

In English/American culture the “commons” disappeared long ago. It is confused with the state and what is considered “public”. We assume the state (Federal, State, County, Municipality, etc.) to be akin to what originally meant “the commons” in that these entities are, in theory, accessed by all the citizens as well as are meant to serve all the citizens of the state. Unlike the commons, they also stand outside the citizens who make them possible through the authority of law. Square footage distinguishes “real” property from personal property. With the absence of any commons, all real estate (real property) must be declared as having a title of ownership. This declaration is made to the state (recorded) to establish rights and privileges (of ownership) as well as duties, responsibilities and liabilities before the law. Newark’s downtown has a natural limit on the east side (the Licking River) and man-made one’s on the others – the RR tracks on the south, the freeway immediately on the north and again eventually on the west. An area bounded by Locust street on the north, First street on the east, Fourth Street on the west and Market Street on the south forms a neat square, approximately a third of a mile on each side. To many, this is downtown Newark. According to the state, someone has title to every square foot of this 3,082,132 square feet of downtown Newark. Likewise, to be owned, it must be declared (recorded with the County). The names appearing on the titles of properties within this area in downtown Newark fall into 3 separate distinctions – individuals, corporations and associations, and government. Though each parcel of property is distinguished by Title, all are interconnected by the 5  (or so) miles of public roads and alleys and the water and sewers lines below as well as the private utilities of gas, electric, telecommunications lines throughout. Within this area individuals’ names appear on the titles to approximately 12.7% of the square footage recorded by the County. Government appears on approximately 18.5% of the recorded square footage, while corporations, associations and trusts appear as owners of the remaining 68.8%. Individuals are one or more individuals stated as such (Manuel R. Vela). Government can be City of Newark, State of Ohio, etc. Corporations, associations and trusts can be readily identified as a business (Park National Bank), Foundations (Evans Foundation), churches or entities set up primarily and solely for recording purposes; the address of the real property given as an LLC or LTD, i.e. 17-19 S. Park LTD.( a corporation, by definition, being an entity that exists solely in contemplation of the law).  Rights and privileges along with the duties, liabilities, and responsibilities of ownership may (or may not) be addressed by an individual whose name appears on the title, will receive a bureaucratic response from titles showing government ownership, but most likely will always solicit legal representation in the case of the majority of titles (the 68.8%). Within this group, churches make up about 6% of all the real property ownership in this portion of downtown Newark while banks own more than double that – 13%. Park National Bank, headquartered in Newark, owns 9% of the real estate in this downtown area.

The words ownership and development mean different things to different entities (people or corporations). Students are asked to “take ownership” of a project or task, assume responsibility. For a corporation, ownership can be an asset or a liability, something to be either capitalized or disclaimed. For a resident of a neighborhood, development can be less trash on the street, lighting for their children’s safety, maybe sidewalks to walk to schools or a recreation center, maybe even just a community center to begin with. For a corporation, development means greater return on investment, more profit. The economy of those who live in Newark (of which almost half do not own the real estate they reside on) is not the same economy as that of those having title to Newark real property.  One is an economy of sustaining life, the other is one of business and the market.